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Chicago Bears NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection

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Justin Fields' college mixtape shows he's ready for the NFL (1:45)

Relive the highlights from Justin Fields at Ohio State as the QB is poised to be a top draft pick in the NFL. (1:45)

The 2021 NFL draft was held April 29 through May 1 and every Chicago Bears draft pick has been analyzed here.

After last season's virtual draft, Cleveland was playing host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Chicago has selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated NFL depth charts


Round 1, No. 11 overall: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

My take: Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace had to swing for the fences with Fields available at No. 11. The Bears paid a hefty price (including next year's first-round pick) to move up nine spots for Fields, but the payoff could be enormous. Finally, the Bears gave their fan base reason to be excited. Veteran Andy Dalton may still open the year as Chicago's No. 1 quarterback, but it's only a matter of time before the job is turned over to Fields, who had a terrific collegiate career at Ohio State. Now the Bears have to hope they chose the right guy, unlike Mitchell Trubisky in 2017.

Quarterback connection: The Bears are confident the proper infrastructure is in place to mold a young quarterback. On Tuesday, Pace waxed poetic about how so many of Chicago's current offensive coaches -- head coach Matt Nagy, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo -- are former quarterbacks themselves. The Bears also believe the quarterback room with Dalton and Nick Foles will be a positive place for Fields to learn and develop.

What's the plan? : The Bears are still paying Dalton $10 million in 2021. In all likelihood, the Bears want Fields to sit behind Dalton and Foles to learn and observe. The Bears wanted to do the same with Trubisky but Mike Glennon struggled so badly over the first four weeks of the 2017 regular season that Trubisky was forced into action before he was ready. Chicago does not want to make the same mistake twice. Bears fans will be clamoring for Fields to take the field, but under no circumstances can the Bears mess this up. Too many jobs are on the line for Fields not to pan out.


Round 2, No. 39 overall: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

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Teven Jenkins' NFL draft profile

Check out the top highlights from Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins.

My take: Love the pick. Jenkins should be the Bears' starting right tackle in Week 1. Many believed Jenkins was going to be a first round-pick, but Chicago traded up to grab him at No. 39 overall. The Oklahoma State product had a highly productive collegiate career and plays with a mean streak. Not only did Chicago waive goodbye to veteran right tackle Bobby Massie in the offseason, but starting left tackle Charles Leno's contract expires after the 2021 season. This choice checks all the boxes. The Bears have to be thrilled after their first two picks of Justin Fields and Jenkins.


Round 5, No. 151 overall: Larry Borom, OT, Missouri

My take: The Bears entered the draft determined to add depth on the offensive line. After moving up to take Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins (future starter) in the second round, the Bears used their first pick on Day 3 on Borom, who played both tackle and guard at Missouri. The interior of Chicago's offensive line is a team strength, but the Bears are making changes on the edges. Jenkins is expected to initially replace veteran Bobby Massie at right tackle, but left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is in the final year of his contract. Borom will enter the league as a reserve, but the Bears hope he develops into more. Keep in mind, the Bears are very high on offensive line coach Juan Castillo's ability to mold young offensive linemen.


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Khalil Herbert's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert's college career.

Round 6, No. 217 overall: Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

My take: Running back does not appear to be an area of need. The Bears have a trio of rushers -- David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Damien Williams -- to lean on in 2021. Herbert does have experience in the return game. Best-case scenario (initially) is for Herbert to crack the active roster because of special teams. Perhaps one day Herbert can challenge for a role on offense, but that would not seem likely this year given the depth the Bears already have at running back. Herbert was likely the best overall available player on Chicago's board at No. 217.


Round 6, No. 221: Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

My take: The Bears want competition at wide receiver. Aside from Allen Robinson II (franchise tag) and last year's fifth-round steal Darnell Mooney, they have a bunch of question marks at wideout. Newsome has an opportunity, especially in the slot, where ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports the team has been shopping former second-round pick Anthony Miller. Riley Ridley, Javon Wims and Marquise Goodwin are also on the roster, but none are slam dunks. Newsome also returned punts at North Carolina which gives him an even greater chance to stick around based on special teams.


Round 6, No. 228: Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon

My take: Graham opted out of the 2020 season, but prior to that decision, he started 39 straight games for the Ducks. Graham definitely has an opportunity to make an impact. The starting cornerback spot opposite Jaylon Johnson is wide open after the Bears released Kyle Fuller for salary cap reasons. Chicago signed veterans Desmond Trufant and Artie Burns to low-money deals, but the Bears would love nothing more than for a younger player to rise up and take the job. Very little is promised to sixth-round picks, but given the positional need, Graham appears to be walking into a fairly good situation.


Round 7, No. 250: Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

My take: The Bears welcome back Eddie Goldman, who opted out last year due to COVID-19 concerns, but it never hurts to add possible depth at nose tackle. Tonga is a big body (6-foot-2, 325 pounds) who can eat up space in the middle of the defensive line. Seventh-round picks always face an uphill battle to make the roster, but the Bears aren't super deep at defensive tackle after Goldman, Mario Edwards Jr. and Akiem Hicks, who can play anywhere up front.